Joe Calvert is serving life in prison for murdering Tricia Fipps.
He was one of the first in Tulsa County to be found guilty of murder without the missing person being recovered.
"You know he sentenced all of us to a life sentence, and I think that is appropriate for him," said Shelia Owen, Tricia's mother.
Sheila and her family have waited 18 years to see Calvert behind bars. In 2002, he took Tricia, who was his ex-girlfriend, to New Mexico and killed her. While Tricia's family finally has some justice, there is no closure because they still don't know where Tricia's body is buried.
"That's the worst thing you could ever do to anybody. It's bad enough that you murdered her, our loved one, but not knowing exactly where she is. We still don't have that closure," Shelia said.
Tulsa homicide detectives followed leads with no luck for years.
"It was really hard to keep up hope until Jason White came into our life," said Anna Wilson, Tricia's sister. "Jason is my hero."
Detective Jason White picked up Tricia's case in 2009, during his first year working homicide. Three years later, Calvert's wife Shanna Ramsey, helped White break open the case.
"She was in the picture back in the day. From that point she starts talking about a murder that Joe had committed," White said.
White says Ramsey was the key to solving the case and sending Calvert to prison. As the only living witness to the murder, the Tulsa County DA dropped her charges, and she testified against Calvert. She told the jury he strangled Tricia and buried her body somewhere in New Mexico. White believes Calvert's conviction was the result of the collaboration between his team, the Tulsa County DA's office, the New Mexico State Police, and Tricia's family, who never gave up hope.
"They are probably one of the most deserving families that I have run across in this job," White said. "I don't know if I have ever been hugged as hard by a couple of them. I'd be lying if I told you I didn't tear up myself."
"Just like I told Jason, I know she was giving him high fives, telling him thank you for not giving up," said Anna.
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